Chef and sommelier Dani Cross offers up a massive selection of local and international wine and local cheeses.

Photo by Andrea Marie Tan.
Photo by Andrea Marie Tan.

Level 3 sommelier Dani Cross is the owner and Executive Chef of Buvez, one of Kelowna’s newest downtown wine bars.

Buvez’s interior design straddles the line between minimalism and modernism. The bar’s open-concept design, squared-off tables, and comfortable seating suggest an emphasis on utility and practicality, while the wide selection of local art and attention to detail in the menu suggests an equal love for art and the aesthetics of food. Indeed, Cross’s love for wine and food extends beyond her role as Executive Chef in her own kitchen. Buvez boasts an impressive array of classes and workshops dedicated to innumerable topics across the expansive subject of wine. From introductory classes such as “Wine Basics”—which includes the basics of tasting, storing, serving, and selecting wines—to more in-depth classes such as “Advanced Burgundy,” wine novices and experts alike are sure to learn something new by attending one of Cross’s classes. But for those who prefer a more relaxed approach to wine, Buvez offers drop in sip and paint sessions every day and open mic nights every Thursday.

With Cross’s expertise and dedication to wine, it is perhaps no surprise that Buvez has over one hundred international and local wines to choose from. Cross is continuously tasting new wines and adding them to the list, meaning that over three hundred wines pass through Buvez throughout any given year.

The one downside to Buvez is their unpredictable hours. The hours of operation listed on their website are incredibly unreliable, suggesting that Cross simply opens and closes when she wants. Finding myself locked out at 7 o’clock on a Sunday (during regularly scheduled hours, according to their website), I decided to try again the following Saturday night. Even after messaging the owner via Instagram and confirming with her that the bar would be open that Saturday until eleven o’clock, I once again arrived to find Buvez dark, empty, and locked.

Petty frustrations aside, Buvez is a charming wine bar with much to offer, from local art to wine education. Its location in the heart of the city also makes it an easy place to stop regardless of the occasion… so long as it’s open.